On any measure, online recruitment is now a viable option for many industries. At best, the Internet is a stand-alone solution, but it can enhance a recruitment campaign by complementing more traditional media, including newspapers, direct mail or radio.
So what advantages are gained by using the Internet as a recruitment vehicle?
The Internet provides unprecedented accuracy in targeting - by age, location, day of week and profession. Even issues which are top-of-mind can be used to reach the relevant audience, for example, when someone types in a 'search term' to conduct an online search.
The Internet also enables the recruiter to take advantage of the strong association between the user and their regular web sites, in a similar way to an advertiser capitalising on the affinity between a magazine and its readership.
A viewer using their favoured finance web site, for example, will be more attentive to advertising information on the site, and certainly more persuaded by the message, than if the advertisement appeared within a context that had little affinity with the user.
The Internet delivers an interactive capability unmatched by any other communications medium. Going beyond simply reaching the relevant candidate with your message, the Internet allows you to engage them in an online dialogue from which each party learns more about each other. Building an association with potential candidates in this way should be evaluated as developing a competitive advantage for your organisation; an important factor in a tight labour market.
The Internet is also the most accountable medium available. You decide the size of your audience or the period of time that you have to conduct your search. Results are measurable, enabling you to determine your return on investment from each web site used in the campaign. Even if you are using other media such as newspapers, directing readers to a web site and asking them where they saw the advertisement is one way to expand this same accountability across all media.
A workforce more educated and certainly more 'wired' than at any time in the past deserves to be treated with new recruitment methods. But just as importantly, Internet recruitment should be about branding the organisation as innovative and original in thinking. These differentials go a considerable way to securing the organisation an 'employer of choice'.